The fiscal year ended on Sept. 30 for the U.S. government, but as has been its custom, Congress waited until the final hours before passing a measure to keep the government operating, but only until Dec. 11 The move added fuel to the already scalding hot fire that says we have a do nothing Congress that is out of touch with average Americans.
In a sign of the battle ahead, this measure passed the House 257 to 151. It had already passed the Senate 78-20. All of the no votes in both houses were cast by Republicans, however, Georgia’s Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, and Rep. Austin Scott, rightly voted to keep the government going as did Democrat Sanford Bishop.
Forget the politics for a moment. Our military leaders have already spoken loud and clear that a continuing budget resolution is just as bad as sequestration. It locks the military into a budget that doesn’t meet the nation’s needs. If another CR is passed in December — which is not a given considering the looming fights over Planned Parenthood and raising the debt ceiling, both of which could shut down the government — the Defense Department’s budget would remain at the 2015 level of $496 billion. The sequestration cap is $499 billion. The president’s budget request for 2016 gives the military an additional $35 billion over the cap.
How can we ask our men and women in uniform to do their jobs of protecting this nation if their civilian leaders can’t put aside their ideological differences long enough to give them what they need to fight our many foes? We can demand Congress do its job or we make its members find a new occupations.